Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Robbing the Bees

On Sunday afternoon, Adam decided it was time to take the honey and combs out of the "super" that was on top of the beehive stack. We all went into the backyard and helped with this effort.

In this photo, Adam is checking the progress that the bees have made on the new hive box that he gave them. They have been very busy building new comb and inserting honey.
Here's a frame from the super. Adam, Philip & Anna cut the combs & honey out of the frames, trying gently to encourage the bees onto the ground sheet, so they will crawl back into the hive. Just look at that luscious honey.
Here they all work quickly to clean the frames from the super. Anna was stung rather badly on her finger, but otherwise, there was little damage from this brutal robbing of the hive.
Here Anna and Adam are working the comb, to remove the honey (it will be strained repeatedly until it's pure), and then to boil out the wax, and finally to return any residual matter to the bees, for their consumption.
A drop of pure honey. I can't tell you how mellow, rich, flowery, and buttery it tastes. Honey bought at the grocery store has been processed -- i.e., heated to about 140 degrees -- so that it will pour more easily for manufacturing. This temperature robs it of its best qualities, the luscious smell and floral taste.
And Adam? He is thoroughly enjoying keeping bees.

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